“I’m a really relaxed guy!” says Alex Regan, a comment that gained a giggle from the Admirals management team, who wholeheartedly agreed with his self-analysis. A stand-out player in the West Auckland Admirals this season, Alex is a player to keep your eye on.
“That kid is a real head turner. I remember noticing him on the ice in the first Admirals game and thinking, ‘wow, this kid has a lot of talent. He is going to be one to watch out for!’ – Regan Wilson, Phoenix Thunder defenceman.
Described as offensive defencemen, Alex has just returned to New Zealand. We caught up with him to see how he has readjusted to playing with the Admirals and balancing his tertiary studies after a whirlwind trip to America.
Alex returned to New Zealand 2 months ago after playing in the USA for three years. He played for the Charleston Colonials and the Atlanta Mad Hatters in the USPHL Premier league.
In 2019 Alex represented New Zealand at the U18 World Championships in Bulgaria – that was the golden ticket for Alex. With a stellar performance at the world championship – he made an impression on many. He was approached at the tournament and offered a spot in the Charleston Colonial team, and he jumped at the opportunity.
This AUT student is studying finance – but this decision came after taking a ‘gap year’. When Alex went to the States, he had committed to one season, but the Covid pandemic changed his plans. One season turned into three seasons, and after spending more time overseas than he bargained for, Alex is confident that he will move back to America once he graduates.
Alex reflects on being a younger player alongside his twin, Chris Regan. He revealed that he was one of the ‘net kids’ who would move the nets for the Zamboni on Admiral game days & how they would look up to Admirals in awe.
“Sometimes, we were allowed to go see the Admirals after the games. They’ve always been so good to us.”
Aspiration became a reality for the twins – making their way into the team in 2017.
“Coming back into the team is amazing. I wasn’t here when the Kennedys joined the Admirals, but as soon as I came back, they quickly introduced themselves, and everyone was so friendly. No one puts themself in front of the team. Justin does an amazing job of being a firm captain, but he brings the fun. He’s played division 1 in America; he knows what it takes and shares what he knows.”
Sitting in the top 10 NZIHL defencemen scoring leaders, Alex is keen to lift the Birgel Cup again with his team. He is also eager to share what he has learnt through his experiences with the Admirals and national teams. “New Zealand ice hockey is improving, and progression is steady,” says Alex, “When I ref in Auckland, I was so surprised with the skill level of the U18s – they have moves that I don’t mind stealing!”
A pro league in New Zealand is another dream for Alex. To have hockey recognised more in New Zealand, having people assume you mean ice hockey when you say ‘hockey’ would mean we’re getting to where we need to be.
“He is an intelligent player and great skater. He likes to rush the puck and is relentless in all zones” – Justin Daigle, West Auckland Admirals Captain.
Chris Regan is currently playing and studying for Marian University in Indianapolis (ACHA II league).
Photos supplied by Kea Photos